So, this is October.
I’ve spent most of the year working hard on one revision of one book (now off to last beta). I’m crawling back into first-draft writing, fighting perfectionism all the way and letting the words—good, bad, and ugly–flow, creep, stomp or drift on to the page.
October, changeable and moody. Drizzle-grey. Glorious skies of bright blue. Wet-dark bark and luminous-yellow leaves. T-shirt weather. Winter-coat temps.
We’ve been schooling since August, and it’s telling. Took a couple days off earlier in the month, took another couple off this week (coinciding nicely with a Grampa visit and the rebuilding of stairs to the yard.)
October. Our late-turning maples turned yellow overnight. The willow shed its tiny narrow leaves all over the yard. Bare branches against leaden clouds. Early nightfall.
The question has not been what I need to do, but what I should neglect. Benign neglect has such a nice let-live ring to it. Let children have time and space to play their own ways and think their own thoughts. Let stories simmer, with an occasional stir to bring things up to the surface. Let blogs get a little dusty and a little forlorn while their owners bake bread, cook stew, read books, watch stars explode.
Let time pool in stillness until November comes around with a stick and sparklers to shake things up again.
What have you been neglecting lately?
I just spent the last week in San Antonio at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and Christian Filmmakers Academy (http://www.saicff.org). It was much more intensive than I thought it would be and instead of planning out all the writing work to be done in November, I mostly just panted through the coursework and squeezed food and sleep in between sessions. I DID manage to get a short story planned out and have some serious breakthroughs on getting two storyworlds through the pre-writing phase. Never underestimate the power of ten to fifteen minute breaks. I managed to do that scribbling when the breaks were too short to return to the hotel and to long to do nothing.
But I don’t think of this period so much as neglect as “refilling the well,” to borrow the phrase. I find if I don’t have that grueling brainstorming session followed by lots of periods where it MUST sit on the back of the brain and simmer (due to a dearth of conscious ideas), I never get a complete, rich story. That comes from the subconscious and the Holy Spirit and can be courted but not forced. I started writing “Believe” months and months ago and it’s just a short story, but I didn’t have the whole story until the middle of the second day of the Academy. Stories need time to gestate properly.
Of course, there were other things neglected: insurance claims I need to get sorted out (have to verify that I have the right ID card in the first place), credit card companies that think an AUTOMATICALLY transferred payment was late :reminds self not to grumble:, cleaning the house (I was absent with leave, but my room and chores are cryworthy in need), and putting my finances and budget for the month in order. To say nothing of the workload at my job for this week.
The nice thing is I don’t regret it. Sometimes a girl’s just got to prioritize and let things go. It was an awesome week.
Great! It sounds like a wonderful experience for you. So, early November is catch-up time for you?